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US History. How did the activity of Boss Tweed influence the way the federal government regulated municipal politics?

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How did the activity of Boss Tweed influence the way the federal government regulated municipal politics? Carine Alexis March 30, 2011 IB HOTA Mrs. McGinnis Word Count: 1,953 How did the activity of Boss Tweed influence the way the federal government regulated municipal politics? A. Plan of Investigation The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the question of how and why the actions of Boss Tweed led to the beginning of a federal regulation of municipal government. The main body of investigation will analyze the extensive and unregulated power of Tammany Hall over New York City during the Gilded Age. It will also focus on assessing the individual, corrupt procedures of Tweed as well as the role of the federal government over New York City before and after his arrest. Accounts of historians as well as the publications of New York City based newspaper, Harper's Weekly, will be used to evaluate the roles of Tweed as the Boss of Tammany Hall. Two of the sources used in this essay, Boss Tweed by Kenneth Ackerman and "Who Stole the People's Money?", a political drawn by Thomas Nast during the Gilded Age will be evaluated according to their origins, purposes, values, and limitations. ...read more.


This cartoon was published with the intent of satirically portraying the extent to which Tammany Hall's influence over New York City had increased through interconnected businessmen and politicians. This illustration is valuable because it provides insight into an initial reaction to the public exposure of Tweeds corruption in 1871. Also, since this cartoon was published in common newspaper, it may have influenced the opinions of many who lacked knowledge of what was truly occurring in municipal politics. It is limited, however, because it was published shortly after Tweed's arrest rather than after his trials in 1873. This illustration was created before a verdict was accepted by the judicial system, and therefore, was based upon information that may or may not have been accurate. Boss Tweed is Kenneth Ackerman's historical account about the political activity of Tweed. This book was written with the purpose of recording Tweed's actions and presenting them as the basis of modern New York City and was published in 2005. This source is valuable because documents from municipal and federal archives such as New York Election Frauds, Report 31 by the House of Representatives, the New York County Board of Supervisor's files, and several others were assessed in order to portray an accurate description of the events. ...read more.


In addition to this, in 1892, the government opened Ellis Island as a center to attend to immigrants upon their arrival in New York (Cashman 84). The federal government had been made aware of the corruption in municipal government and acted upon it. E. Conclusion Prior to the actions of Boss Tweed, the federal government did not recognize the importance of thoroughly regulating municipal governments, especially that of New York City. Initially after the Civil War and Industrialization, its main focus was on keeping the nation together and thus local governments were allowed to regulate themselves. The public exposure of actions of Tweed, however, brought significant attention to how municipal governments were functioning, or rather, malfunctioning. The federal government could not have possibly regulated city politics if it was unaware that city politics truly needed to be regulated. Thus, in New York, Tweed and his ring acted as a catalyst that led to reform and several acts that improved the lives of citizens. It can be argued that without Tweed, patronage in New York would not have escalated as rapidly as it did, but it is evident that he had a crucial role in the way the federal government currently regulates municipal governments and politicians. F. ...read more.

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